Knitters across the country have responded in their hundreds to a plea for knitted chicks by getting their needles out and sending their woolly creations to Francis House. As the appeal for sending in the chicks reached its close on 8th March, over 2,000 fluffy yellow chicks had flown through the doors of the hospice. After being filled with chocolate eggs, donated by local businesses and supporters, the chicks were being distributed to primary schools in the North West to be sold for £1 in the run up to Easter.
Two members of the original Francis House chicken knitting group of 8 ladies, Margaret Mayne and Mary Dooler were on hand to oversee proceedings. Last year the group, founded by Jackie Hadfield, knitted over 550 chicks and raised £650. To support the chick knit for 2013 a nationwide appeal was launched in knitting magazines, websites and in the Francis House newsletter. The response exceeded all expectations with over 125 requests for the knitting pattern from individuals and groups all across the UK from Glasgow to Cornwall. A dozen chicks were even sent from a knitter in Queensland, Australia, over 10,000 miles away after picking up the pattern whilst visiting the UK.
Other chicks that have flown in from overseas include thirty by Janice Irving, a retired former Headteacher at Wellfield Infant and Nursery school in Sale. Janice knitted her brood over 3,000 miles away in the Gambia where she lives 2-3 months of the year. Janice took her wool with her in her suitcase in January to the small village of Sanyang. Her Gambian neighbours were intrigued by what she was doing and watched her knitting on several occasions, as they sat and talked about the charity and Francis House.
With all the chicks there needed to be chocolate eggs. In previous years around 200 have been donated by Costco Trafford Park and Tesco Northenden, with the remainder bought by the original chicken knitters themselves. Once again supporters and local businesses responded. Earlier in 2013 Standard Life’s Manchester office nominated Francis House as their charity partner of the year. The team of account managers and support staff quickly collected 210 eggs between them and when the company’s Headquarters in Edinburgh backed the appeal 1,952 eggs were despatched to the hospice.
Fundraisers took the plunge at Old Trafford in an abseil event to raise money for Francis House. Over 200 supporters of individuals, teams, friends, and families took part in the abseil 140ft from the roof of the North Stand of the Theatre of Dreams at Manchester United Football Club. Francis Mouse went up against Fred the Red in a race to the pitch side, with Francis Mouse streaking into the lead.
In excess of £25,000 has already been raised through sponsorship, merchandise and the sale of teas and coffees, with money set to rise over
Anyone who wants to sponsor Francis Mouse can still go to www.justgiving.com/Francis-Mouse2 or call the Fundraising office on 0161 443 2200.
Francis Mouse, the new mascot of Francis House Children’s Hospice, called upon his friend Fred the Red, from Manchester United yesterday, to help with the opening of a stunning display of sponsored Christmas trees. The mascots delighted shoppers at the Lowry Outlet, Salford Quays with a switch on of over 40 Christmas trees. The collection of trees, on display for 5 weeks until the 9th December, have been generously decorated by local businesses and supporters of the children’s hospice that serves the North West of England, caring for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.
Shoppers can browse the display for free and put in a bid should they wish to own one of the trees. The winning bids will help provide much needed funds for the hospice’s annual running costs and the building of a new £3.5 million seven bedroom extension. Decorations include signed baubles from Manchester United and Manchester City players, the cast of Coronation Street and Emmerdale, a L’Oreal tree of perfumed goodies and a range of treats and vouchers from The Midland hotel. In addition, local nurseries and schools have kindly decorated trees, which feature hand-made, decorated hangings. The Festival of Trees magic grotto is situated on the first floor of the Lowry Outlet.
North West children’s hospice Francis House have revealed a new mascot today. Francis Mouse, a life sized furry mouse, will help promote the work of the hospice that provides care and support for children and their families with life-limiting conditions.
Francis Mouse donned his special sports kit to meet up with Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs and Fred the Red at United’s training ground in Carrington. Fred the Red was happy to pass on a few tips to the newcomer including the art of ‘whole arm waving’ and some fancy footwork moves.
Ryan said: “I’ve visited Francis House and seen for myself the amazing work that takes place at the Children’s Hospice. I’m happy to welcome Francis Mouse to Manchester United, I’m sure he’ll put a smile on many faces and really help Francis House with their fundraising activities.”
Francis House Children’s Hospice, one of the charity partners of the Manchester United Foundation, had a visit recently from Sir Alex Ferguson and defender Jonny Evans to lay the first cornerstone of a new £3.5 million seven bedroom extension. The Foundation assists with the raising of vital funds through various fundraising events as well as raising awareness of the work of the hospice. David Ireland, Chief Executive said “We are very grateful for the great support that Manchester United has given us over the years through their Foundation. Francis Mouse will be popping up at various events, spreading the news about Francis House.”
Francis Mouse and Fred the Red will be at the opening of the charity’s ‘Festival of Trees’, a stunning display of sponsored Christmas trees, including Manchester United, Coronation Street and Emmerdale at the Lowry Outlet from 11 o’clock on Sunday 4th November. The trees are on display for 5 weeks and then raffled to raise much needed funds.
Francis House marked a key stage in the building of their new £3.5 million seven bedroom extension with the laying of a cornerstone by Paralympic World Champion Sarah Storey and Kate Snape, a young person who comes to the hospice for short breaks of respite care.
Paralympian Sarah, winner of 4 gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic games lent her support to Francis House in July by dropping in to spend time with children and their families during a break from training for the games. Sarah said, "It's incredible, it's just another pinch yourself moment, in a few months where there's been so many of them. To think my name along with Kate's will be on that cornerstone for years to come and in another 100 years this will still be here and people will remember what happened in 2012 in the Uk with the Jubilee, the games and then obviously the success of a building like this. I know the young people will love coming here, I bet people just can't wait to see it finished."
Sarah added,"You can't underestimate the value that the new building will give to the young people and their families. Everyone deserves a quality of life so if everyone can support Francis House in some small way it all helps go towards the huge runnning costs."
A cornerstone of the new building extension, has been laid today, Thursday 11th October, by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr Warren Smith JP and Kyle Wells who has been coming to Francis House for respite since 1995.
The seven bedroom extension will double the size of the hospice, enabling an increase in the amount of respite that the hospice can offer. The brick building will feature a large terrace providing access to an outside space at first floor level, a recording studio and large lounge overlooking a lawn. Mr Smith said, "It's yet another amazing landmark in the life of Francis House. I'm honoured and humbled to have been asked to lay the cornerstone today. It's the respite care that makes this place so amazing. I've had friends whose children come for short breaks here, and it means so much for the independence of that young person to be able to come and live their own lives independent of their parents. The remarkable work provided by Francis House I personally believe should be provided by the state. But the state continues to give excuses why not to provide respite care, and Francis House just ignores it and just gets on with it."
Kyle said, "It's a great break to be able to come here and you can bring a friend or family relative to stay over, it's very laid back. I'm 23 and still enjoy coming here; there should never be a point when you're turned away for your age. As I've grown up I've always looked forward to my stays here, it's a great laid back break from home. I'm looking forward to the new building opening very much, the plans for it, like outside balconies for each bedroom sound a really good idea."
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our first Francis House group overseas fundraising challenge, Trek Jordan. This is an exciting new endeavour and we hope that you will be able to join us and other supporters for an unforgettable experience whilst raising funds for Francis House.
The 5 day trip will begin with a dip in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. Witness breathtaking views across the Jordan Valley to the domes and spires of Jerusalem. Encounter sand dunes, oases, waterfalls, old caves and temples. Camp out under the stars.
Finishing at the famous Rose Red City of Petra, a dramatic 2000 year old city hewn out of sandstone cliffs.
Would you like to join us on an adventure of a lifetime?
Request your registration pack now by contacting Emma on 0161 443 2000 or email email@example.com